Asian Markets Mostly Higher

Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Tuesday, with most markets also extending the gains of the previous session, following the positive cues from Wall Street overnight, as economic optimism is tempering coronavirus concerns. Traders are keeping an eye on news about the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus in several parts of the world. Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Monday.

Meanwhile, traders are looking ahead to the inflation data and US Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s Congressional testimony for clues about the outlook for the economy. They have also been reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the start of earnings season.

Finance ministers from the Group of 20 countries warned over the weekend that the global economic growth is at risk from the spike of new coronavirus variants and the low vaccine availability in developing countries.

The Australian stock market is modestly higher on Tuesday, extending the gains of the previous sessios, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 staying below the 7,400 level, following the positive cues from Wall Street overnight, with support from materials, mining and financial stocks. Traders remain concerned about the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus variants in New South Wales.

New South Wales is bracing for further acceleration of infection rates after recording 89 new locally acquired cases on Monday, with a 70-year old man passing away.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 22.50 points or 0.31 percent to 7,356.00, after touching a high of 7,382.20 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 29.30 points or 0.39 percent to 7,634.20. Australian stocks closed notably higher on Monday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Rio Tinto is up more than 1 percent. Mineral Resources and OZ Minerals are edging up 0.4 percent each.

Oil stocks are mixed. Oil Search and Beach energy are edging down 0.3 percent each, while Santos and Origin Energy are edging up 0.4 percent each. Woodside Petroleum is flat.

Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank and Westpac are gaining almost 1 percent each. Commonwealth Bank is edging up 0.2 percent.

Among tech stocks, Afterpay and Xero are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Appen is flat. WiseTech Global is losing almost 1 percent.

Gold miners are higher. Newcrest Mining and Gold Road Resources are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Northern Star Resources is edging up 0.3 percent. Evolution Mining and Resolute Mining are flat.

In other news, shares in Nearmap are surging almost 15 percent as the aerial mapping firm is set to beat its full-year guidance for annual contract value (ACV), while it gears up for a patent infringement fight in the US.

Shares in Youfoodz are skyrocketing more than 77 percent after the ready-made meals provider received a 95 cents per share or $125 million bid from global food giant HelloFresh.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.750 on Tuesday.

The Japanese stock market is significantly higher on Tuesday, extending the sharp gains of the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei index just below the 28,800 level, following the positive cues from Wall Street overnight, as economic optimism tempered coronavirus concerns.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 28,792.06, up 223.04 points or 0.78 percent, after touching a high of 28,852.31 earlier. Japanese shares closed sharply higher on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 1 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining almost 1 percent and Toyota is edging up 0.3 percent, while Nissan Motor is edging down 0.3 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing more than 1 percent and Screen Holdings is down more than 3 percent, while Tokyo Electron is flat. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Mizuho Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are all gaining almost 1 percent each.

The major exporters are higher, with Sony, Mitsubishi Electric and Canon are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Panasonic is adding almost 1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Unitika is gaining almost 5 percent, while Amada and Inpex are adding more than 4 percent each. Yokogawa Electric, Sumco and Sompo Holdings are up more than 3 percent each, while Citizen Watch, CyberAgent, Seiko Epson and Nippon Yusen K.K. are rising almost 3 percent each. T&D Holdings, Toho Zinc, Chubu Electric Power and Olympus are up more than 2 percent each.

Conversely, Yamato Holdings, Secom and Central Japan Railway are losing more than 1 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 110 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong is surging 1.9 percent, while New Zealand, China, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan are all higher by between 0.1 and 0.8 percent each. Indonesia is bucking the trend and is down 0.2 percent.

On Wall Street, stocks moved modestly higher over the course of the trading session on Monday after showing a lack of direction early in the session. With the upward move, the major averages all reached new record closing highs.

The major averages all close in positive territory. The Dow climbed 126.02 points or 0.4 percent to 34,996.18, the Nasdaq edged up 31.32 points or 0.2 percent to 14,733.24 and the S&P 500 rose 15.08 points or 0.4 percent to 4,384.63.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index rose by 0.5 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures closed lower Monday after two days of gains amid concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to the surge in the delta variant of the coronavirus. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended down $0.46 or 0.6 percent at $74.10 a barrel.

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